What Does Ship Mean in a Text?

Ship means "Relationship." It is popular in fanfiction circles and refers to a (usually romantic) relationship between characters in a book, film, TV series, manga, or anime.

Usually, the ship in question is not canon in the original story, but is promoted or endorsed by fans. Such ships include those between Mulder and Scully in the X-Files TV series, and between Harry and Hermione in the Harry Potter stories.

Image for Ship

When I write Ship, I mean this:

meaning of Ship

Hermione and Harry were never a couple.

Summary of Key Points

"Relationship" is the most common definition for Ship on Snapchat, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.
Guessability:guessability level 3
3: Guessable
Typical Users:typical user

Adults and Teenagers

Examples of ship in Sentences

Here are examples of ship being used in conversations:
  • Toni: I think I'm starting to like Brad.
  • Jordan: I totally ship you both!
  • Sam: I always shipped Dumbledore and McGonagall.
  • Ali: Don't be silly! J K Rowling said Dumbledore was gay.

An Academic Look at Ship

Ship is a shortened version of relationship and is therefore a contraction. Contractions tend to be formed in one of three ways:
  • Using letters from the start or end of the word (e.g., ship, amp from amplifier).
  • Using letters from the start and end of the word (e.g., Dr from Doctor).
  • Using an apostrophe to replace a letter or letters (e.g., can't from cannot).
For reasons of brevity, contractions are rarely followed by periods/full stops, and apostrophes are routinely omitted in text mesaging and on social-media platforms.

In most contexts, ship is a noun. However, when it means to endorse a relationship, ship is also often used as a verb.

Example of Ship Used in a Text

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